A Day in the Life
Call me if you don’t hear from me again in 15 minutes.
I don’t make a habit of sending texts like that. But on days that start like this, I do.
I dug this baggie out from its super secret hiding place, then brushed off spiders, ants and some other red insect that runs very fast on tiny legs when disturbed. A wriggly fellow was a little more stubborn. And I wondered if he had ingested the key.
It was not in the crawly, slimy, mud caked sandwich bag of treasure.
I tried the side door, just in case it had been left unlocked.
The door slid open easily enough and I looked over my shoulder before I slipped in. I imagined some neighbor watching through her kitchen window and listening to the police scanner with her trigger finger on the cell phone. 911 on speed dial would be just my luck.
What if I walk into the wrong house?
I pulled my file again and checked the address. Correct. From the entry, I knocked hard on the open door and hollered in, willing the echo of knuckles on wood to rouse any weekend hunters who might still be enjoying a long weekend away from home.
Except that it is not any kind of hunting season in South Dakota this week.
No one answered, so I pushed the door closed behind me and waited for my eyes to adjust. The black shapes littering the living room floor focused into a swarm of flies, lying comfortably on their backs with feet in the air.
I opened the door again.
Air might be good. And I might need to leave in a hurry.
It was then that I sent the text.
Just in case.
The unlocked door left me conflicted. On the one hand, it seemed providential that on the same day the key was eaten by parasites living in a sandwich bag the house would also be found unlocked, saving me a second 100 mile drive to inspect the premises.
But on the other, it was naive to simply assume the last weekend guest forgot to lock up and left with a muddy key in his pocket. It made far more sense to suppose that some ne’re-do-well was holed up in a closet — or behind the shower curtain — just waiting for an unsuspecting insurance adjuster to come calling so he could unleash mischief and mayhem.
Logic and reason being my middle name, of course, I chose the latter.
My objective was the basement. Now, there was but one way in. Meaning there would be but one way out. During the seconds I spent planning my strategy, I experienced a startling moment of self-discovery.
The worst possible thing that could happen was not that I could be wandering around in a strange house with a creepy miscreant hiding behind a door or curtain.
The worst possible thing that could happen was that I could be wandering around in a strange house with a creepy miscreant hiding behind a door or curtain and I wouldn’t know it.
So I had to know.
Before I could scamper down the stairs to the basement with my back to the ruffian, I had to know if he was in fact in the house.
I walked all the way through, checking all the possible hiding places. He was not in the living room. Nor was he in the kitchen, though I did not check the cupboard under the sink.
I poked my head into the bedrooms, which were happily well lit and void of any scraggly trespassers. I crouched from the hall to peek under the beds.
Not finding the creepy one in any other room, I had no choice but to check the bathroom. Behind the shower curtain.
I kept one foot in the doorway and stretched the other in on just one toe, barely far enough in to reach the bathtub. Right hand gripping the door frame, I sucked in deep and pulled the curtain back with a single gloved finger on the left.
I paused, then exhaled. As I pushed used air out, I noticed my dignity leaving with it.
Here’s the thing: Tape measures, pencils and business cards are no match for a guy hiding in the shower with any number of lethal weapons. Or no weapons, for that matter.
Had he been there, measuring him up and giving him my contact information would not have kept him from chopping me up and taking me to the basement in pieces.
So why, oh why, would I insist on looking behind the curtain?
It’s simple: For some of us, there is no more severe affliction than to know there is something we do not know.
Photos: Just another day in the life
Are you joining us for the Seven-Day Stay?
I’ve finally landed on Psalm 27 for my Seven-Day Stay — appropriate that in a restless time I’d choose to focus on the one thing — the just one thing – that David asked of the Lord.
You’re invited to join us for the week, putting the car in park and letting God speak to you from the same verse, passage or chapter for a week. Find out how to join in here.
Staring at the page but don’t feel like you’re getting anywhere? Try reading the passage aloud, in pieces, or in different versions. Biblegateway.com is a great resource if you need a second or third version to try. Read sitting down, standing up, laying on your bed, or kneeling on the floor. And just ask Him to speak, to give it to you. Living in the same words for several days running gives the Spirit such a huge opportunity to work the Word through you in ways you never imagined.
Glorious, gracious God, speak. Show me the thing.